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Pope Benedict tells children that if we grow in our friendship with God then we Pope Benedict tells children that if we grow in our friendship with God then we will find true happiness and become saints. In this beautifully illustrated book, popular author Amy Welborn introduces Pope Benedict's simple yet profound message to children, View Product. Behold the Pierced One: An Approach to a. In this profound and illuminating work, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger turns the gaze of an accomplished In this profound and illuminating work, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger turns the gaze of an accomplished theologian upon the crucified Savior.

This synthetic and meditative work is theological without being abstract or dry, and spiritual without being sentimental. The pierced heart In these pages Benedict XVI shares his story for the first time since his retirement In these pages Benedict XVI shares his story for the first time since his retirement from the papacy. Joseph Ratzinger is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our time.

Born in Germany in This work features the most discussed topics of the life of the Church, treated with This work features the most discussed topics of the life of the Church, treated with unique frankness and depth by the Church's spiritual and theological leader.

Following his best selling book,Jesus of Nazareth, and his talks published inJesus, the Apostles, and Following his best selling book,Jesus of Nazareth, and his talks published inJesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church, Pope Benedict'sChurch Fatherspresents these important figures of early Christianity in all their evangelical vitality, spiritual profundity, and uncompromising love of God. The Feast of Faith. Are liturgy and prayer important in an age of political crisis and the technological manipulation Are liturgy and prayer important in an age of political crisis and the technological manipulation of human life?

Genuine worship of God involves the sacred liturgy and prayer. Only if man authentically His 24 years as head of the CDF meant he was a known quantity with a track record. He was also a heavyweight theologian and the author of 50 books and numerous articles. Those close to the Pope describe him as a razor-sharp, intelligent man and a good listener. They also claim that he is a far cry from his caricature media image.

He is known to be a modest and gentle pastor with a simple faith, combining powerful intellect with childlike piety. He is the 8th German to become Pope. He speaks 10 languages and is an accomplished pianist. Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger was born into a traditional Bavarian farming family on April 16, He was baptised four hours later at the small parish church in the village of Marktl am Inn in south-eastern Bavaria close to the German border.

He was the third and youngest child of Joseph and Maria Ratzinger. His father was a policeman who served in both the Bavarian State Police Landespolizei and the German national Regular Police Ordnungspolizei before retiring in to the town of Traunstein. The family was bitterly opposed to Nazism because it conflicted with their faith. Joseph's father did not publicly oppose the Nazis but he subscribed to an anti-Nazi newspaper.

The Ratzinger family prayed together, recited the rosary and attended Sunday Mass. Like his older brother, Georg, young Joseph yearned to be a priest from an early age. Both boys loved music. Joseph later wrote that "Mozart thoroughly penetrated our souls" and that music contained "the whole tragedy of human existence.

Six months before Britain declared war on Germany, year-old Joseph entered St Michael's minor seminary in Traunstein where his brother was already a student.


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When he turned 14, he was forced by law to join the Hitler Youth. Two years later, in , he was drafted into the anti-aircraft artillery corp. Towards the end of war, he deserted the German army. Desertion was widespread in the later stages of the war and punishable by death.

Ratzinger was briefly held as a prisoner of war by the Allies in at the age of After the war he returned to seminary for a further six years. He and his brother were both ordained to the priesthood in Freising on June 29, He quickly progressed from parish work and entered the world of academia after obtaining a doctorate in theology in from Munich University.

In he became professor of fundamental theology at Freising, aged He was also appointed professor of fundamental theology in Bonn. In he accepted a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tubingen where the prominent Catholic theologian Hans Kung was a colleague.

But this was not an altogether happy time for Ratzinger who distanced himself from the Marxist leanings of many of his students during the s. In , he moved to the more tranquil settting of Regensburg University in his native Bavaria, rising to become its dean and vice-president. The council discussed the role of the Church in an increasingly fragmented and modern world.

It produced important documents on Christian unity and introduced changes in the Mass. When the council closed in the encyclical Humanae Vitae Human Life sparked a crisis in the Church. The document reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching that only natural methods of birth control were acceptable, leading to a major backlash in many quarters of the Church.

World Youth Day celebrations impact Boston youth

At one time, Ratzinger had been regarded as more liberal than Kung. Now the opposite was true. He was appointed to the International Papal Theological Commission in He was made a cardinal a month after his episcopal ordination and took part in his first ever conclave the following year. He died after only 33 days in office. During his time in office, Cardinal Ratzinger led a crackdown on Liberation theology in Latin America in the s.

He was also involved with the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He championed traditional Catholic teaching on artificial birth control, abortion and homosexuality. It was during this time that he became known as the Vatican's "enforcer of the faith". In , for instance, he fell out with fellow German Cardinal Walter Kasper. Kasper had put his name to a pastoral letter calling for divorced Catholics who had remarried to be allowed to return to the sacraments.

Ratzinger disagreed, arguing that the Church should not change its teaching. Another quarrel broke out in , this time on the pages of Catholic journals over the role of the universal and local Church. Kasper argued that the local Church should take precedence whereas Ratzinger said it should be the other way round. Arguably Ratzinger drew most criticism for his handling of clergy and monks and nuns who stepped out of line. One prominent case involved the excommunication of Father Tissa Balasuriya, a priest working in the predominately Buddhist Sri Lanka. Balasuriya had refused to accept Church teaching on a wide range of issues, particularly the doctrine of original sin.

The flamboyant year-old archbishop was a controversial figure who had performed exorcisms during healing Masses which attracted massive crowds. The controversy deepened when Milingo announced he had married year-old Maria Sung in a ceremony presided over by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Moonies. From , responsibility for the investigation of sexual abuse by priests was passed to the CDF. The clergy sex abuse crisis resulted in priests and even bishops in some countries being accused or jailed. Cardinal Ratzinger defended the priesthood against the scandal of sex abuse, arguing that a crisis in faith, not celibacy, was the root of the problem.

He also sparked controversy when he said that less than one per cent of priests in the United States were guilty of sexually abusing minors. Critics interpreted his comments as ignoring the crimes of those who had committed abuse. Supporters argued that he was pointing out that priests who live respectable lives should not be tainted by the sins of the few. A report by the Catholic Church helped to draw a line under the row. It revealed that 4, Catholic clergy who served between and had faced credible abuse allegations. After 24 controversial years as the Church's top doctrinal watchdog, Cardinal Ratzinger had hoped to retire from the CDF after the election of a new pope.

He had suffered a brain haemorrhage in which some observers suggested was related to the pressures of his work at the CDF.

He also suffered another mild stroke some time between and and was reported to have a heart condition. Ratzinger was now emerging as a strong contender for papacy. Deep down he must have known that this was a possibility. Like any man in his position, he feared the enormity of the task. After his election as pope, he revealed: "At a certain point, I prayed to God 'please don't do this to me'. At one time Cardinal Conti Martini, an Italian Jesuit and biblical scholar, was considered the leading liberal contender for the papacy.

After he moved to Jerusalem, rumoured to be suffering from Parkinson's disease, a new contest began. Some had predicted a revolutionary figure from the developing world or Latin America who would reform the Church. In April , the conclave voted for continuity in the form of Joseph Ratzinger. In many ways he was an obvious choice. In the days after the death of Pope John Paul, the world started to see Cardinal Ratzinger in a new light. He was chosen to preside over the Pope's funeral on April 8, , attended by almost one million mourners from around the world and broadcast to a global audience of two billion people.

He also gave a much-acclaimed homily, described by the American Vatican correspondent John L. Allen as evolving from "a mere funeral speech to a turning point in the history of the Church". He was interrupted 13 times by outbursts of applause from the crowd and was visibly moved by their reaction.

After the conclave the new Pope continued to show a softer face to the world, surprising the vast crowd when he spoke about his role as a "shepherd in the desert" during his installation Mass. Showing a pastoral concern that surprised his critics, he went on to talk about the deserts of poverty, hunger, thirst, abandonment, loneliness, of destroyed love, of God's darkness and the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity or the goal of human life.

His choice of the name Benedict was significant. In his first general audience in St Peter's Square on April 27, , the new Pope explained why he chose the name. He revealed: "Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions.

The core of faith rests upon being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say 'Yes', not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all to men, to try and see the image of God in each person and thereby become a lover. Like every other pope who had gone before him, the beginning of Benedict XVI's papacy was like an open book, the chapters waiting to be written.

As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his image was of an authoritarian, heresy-cracking cardinal, ruthless in his pursuit of dissident priests, monks and nuns. Many critics argued that the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope would be a recipe for disaster. To the outside world, he was an old-fashioned autocrat with none of the charm of his predecessor. His age and uncompromising stance on issues like the ordination of women priests and homosexuality put him at loggerheads with the liberal secular world.

Within the Church, his image was more complex. The conservatives and traditionalists adored him as a firm defender of spiritual truths, courageous in the face of relativist philosophy and penetrating the Church's dissident wing.

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Those of a more liberal persuasion loathed him, dubbing him "the enforcer" and the "panzer cardinal". Would his pontificate sound the death knell for the Catholic Church or would there be a few surprises in store? John Paul II had been seen in the flesh by more people than any other human being who has ever lived. At World Youth Day in Manila in , 4. In Mexico City in , 10 million people turned out. Such was his appeal that he regularly drew large crowds.

For Benedict, following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul must have seemed an unenviable and daunting task.

God’s Revolution: World Youth Day and Other Cologne Talks

As the overheated reaction to his election ebbed away, Benedict began to show a softer face to the world, emerging as a gentle pastor whose appeal to those languishing in the "spiritual deserts" of personal despair won over many hearts and minds. Despite his own record as a heavyweight theologian and author, he insisted that God wanted simple faith rather than great knowledge.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Razon , Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne said: "He [Pope Benedict] has the intelligence of 12 professors and is as pious as a child on the day of his first communion. In an article for the London-based Catholic Herald , the Jesuit priest Anthony Symondson agreed with this analysis and pointed to a sea change in the public's attitude towards the new Pope.

He observed: "Few public figures have had the good fortune to have their caricature stripped so effectively from public consciousness than him. What is more, his formidable body of writing is being read more widely than that, I suspect, of any living theologian. Nothing but good can come of this, because those who did read Ratzinger before his election soon came to realise he was not the man generally misrepresented by the media and his critics. In the days after his election, Benedict made it clear that his priorities would be ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. He also spoke of the need for the Church to witness authentic social development and his desire to bring joy and hope to others.

He signalled his ongoing commitment to the reforms of Vatican II.

More Book by Pope Benedict XVI

In an address to representatives of the world's religions on April 25 , he said: "At the beginning of my pontificate I address to you, believers in religious traditions who represent all those who seek the truth with a sincere heart, a strong invitation to become together artisans of peace in a reciprocal commitment of comprehension, respect and love. True to his word, Benedict launched a rolling programme of meetings aimed at promoting peace and harmony between the world's faith communities.

The first sign of trouble for the new Pope came in July when he used his Sunday Angelus to condemn terrorist attacks in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain. The following day Israel formally registered disappointment over Benedict's apparent failure to recognise Israel as "one of the principal victims of Islamic terrorism. The Vatican's response was that terror attacks on Israel fell under the "general and unreserved condemnation of terrorism". Some critics suggested that this was no mistake but a political decision - the Pope may have left Israel out deliberately as a gesture to the Muslim world.

The following month, the Pope made fresh calls for Christians and Muslims to work together to eradicate the threat of terrorism.